Make sure to extinguish your fireplace fires Saturday night, because Santa Claus is coming to town.
So Ol' St. Nick doesn't burn you and leave your toy stash short, don't burn him first with flames at the bottom of your flue Christmas eve. Will Santa treat you well? Have you been good? We'll know the answer to those questions early Sunday morning.
Christmas is just hours away -- that wonderful holiday season of giving, when kids of all ages await their bounty of toys under the tree. When WalMart employees can't wait until the season is over.
It just doesn't seem like 2012 is only a week away. This year has blown by again -- where did the time go? All those New Year's resolutions you and I vowed to uphold 51 weeks ago but didn't quite manage to get a start on can be carried over to next year.
Are you're Christmas lists done? Here's a short list of the gifts I hope Santa delivers to some of my favorites people...
To NU head football coach Bo Pelini -- a Husker victory in the Capital One Bowl, and a great start to 2012. I love Pelini's style; please Coach don't change. I'm looking for the Huskers to be even more competitive in the Big Ten Conference next fall after their first trip through the league in 2011.
To McCook girls basketball coach Jeff Ellis -- continued improvement, starting with the GNAC Tournament next week. Ellis has the Bison girls headed in the right direction. After a winless campaign in his first season in McCook (2009-10), Ellis guided McCook to 10 wins last season, and the Bison are 3-3 so far this year. His team is more aggressive on the offensive end, and if Coach can get his team to cut down on turnovers, I think they will continue to get better and better and record more W's.
To Bison boys basketball coach Tim Garcia -- three wins at Lex next week in the GNAC Tournament. The Bison have been impressive so far, winning five of six games early this season. I'd love to see Garcia's squad get on a roll and win three straight. The Bison have a deep, talented roster, and it would be great to see McCook beat a couple Class A squads in the league tourney.
To Bison junior Jake Schlager -- a healthy, injury-free 2012. Schlager should be among the leaders on the Bison football team next fall. He's currently wearing a cast on his leg courtesy of a broken leg suffered in the 2011 regular-season finale against Holdrege, and a cast on his wrist after surgery a week or so past to repair a past football injury.
To McCook football coach Jeff Gross -- a healthy Jake Schlager and a trip to Lincoln next November. Coach Gross and his staff have built one of the top prep gridiron programs in the state. The Bison have been a perennial state playoff participant under Gross, and next year's McCook edition promises to be even better than the squad that went 10-1 and advanced to the state playoff quarterfinals this past fall. It's been a few years since the Bison have played in the Class B state championship finals at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, and that will be the goal for the McCook team next season.
To Cambridge senior Mike Shoff -- a Division I football scholarship offer from Lincoln. Shoff is 6-foot-5 and about 280 pounds, and he is a three-sport standout for the Trojans. The two-time state wrestling champ would love to play for the Huskers, and I'd love to see him in a Big Red uniform. Here's hoping the NU staff comes through with a scholarship offer before Mike decided to go elsewhere.
To the McCook Community College athletic department -- part of this present has already been delivered, with construction ongoing on the new MCC Events Center. The new facility will house the Indians mens and women's basketball teams and the MCC volleyball team, plus practice facilities for the college's baseball, softball and men's golf squad. The new facility is scheduled for completion next spring, and the 2012-12 MCC squads will hopefully enjoy their new home next year.
The college football fans --a Division I national playoff and an apology to Boise State for not playing in a BCS game this season.
To Mr. Backer -- a sharp knife, new PJ's and a generous cut Sunday night.
To Father Nelson -- a new set of wheels and a copy of the fairy tale: "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf!"
To all U.S. troops serving overseas -- a safe return to their families ASAP.
To all sports fans, here's hoping Santa treats you well. May you all enjoy the festive holiday season in the company of family and friends. Merry Christmas!!!